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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  July 18, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> schieffer: tonight, the british phone-hacking scandal somethat thats more top-level people. elizabeth palmer reports scotland yard's two top officials have resigned and one of rupert murdoch's closest associates was arrested. the debt battle. a new cbs news poll shows democrats and republicans are paying a price for the drownout talks. norah o'donnell and nancy cordes have that. it is bone dry across america's heartland. maya rodriguez tells us this year's heat and drought are making history. and mark strassmann on the next race for space. four private companies are competing to a build successor to the shuttle. we'll give you a glimpse of the future. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news"
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with scott pelley. >> schieffer: good evening, scott's off tonight. i'm bob schieffer. the tabloid phone hacking and police bribery scandal in great britain is growing wider, deeper and more mysterious by the minute. the prime minister cut short an overseas trip to return home. he will address parliament about it. the original whistle-blower was found dead, unexplained causes so far. the top man in scotland yard resigned yesterday and today the yard's number-two man was forced out. elizabeth palmer has our report. >> reporter: ever since that scandal exploded john yates, head of scotland yard's anti- terrorism unit has been a marked man. he decided in 2009 not to reopen a police investigation into illegal phone hacking at the "news of the world" even though for four years several large bags of evidence had been sitting, ignored, in a police lockup. inside, the names of four thousand people who it turned
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out may have had their phone tapped. today yates quit, but not quietly. >> i have acted with complete integrity, and my conscience is clear. >> reporter: but at this point, that's not enough. public confidence has been so damaged that even a hint of coverup or collusion is a career-ender. that's what cost yates' boss his job on sunday. sir paul stephenson wasn't personally suspected of wrongdoing but on his watch of chief a former "news of the world" editor, neil wallis, was hired as a p.r. consultant to the police force. last week, wallis was arrested in connection with phone hacking. >> i have heard suggestions that we must have suspected the alleged involvement of mr. wallis' phone hacking. let me say unequivocally that i do not and have no reason to do so. >> reporter: but ig snorns no defense in this affair which has
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shed light on the cozy and possibly corrupt ties between rupert murdoch's newspapers, the police, and britain's political elite. take rebekah brooks, the former murdoch editor and british c.e.o. who moved in all the right circles. she went to the police station on sunday to answer questions and instead was arrested. brooks is now out on bail and due to testify tomorrow in front of a parliamentary committee along with murdoch himself and his son, james. and in a strange twist to this whole affair, one of the most public whistle-blowers, a man called sean hoare, who was a former entertainment reporter for the "news of the world" was found dead at his home this evening. so far, anyway, police are saying the death is unexplained but not suspicious. bob? >> schieffer: thank you very much, liz. liz palmer in london. in this country, president obama claimed some progress in negotiations to try to find a way to raise the debt limit and keep the government from defaulting on its financial obligations.
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the reason for the optimism was not all together clear but a cbs news poll out tonight reflects the political toll this crisis is taking. the public is split right down the middle over the president's handling of the situation, but congress fares worse. 58% disapprove of how democrats are handling it, 78% disapprove of what republicans are doing. we want to welcome tonight our new white house correspondent norah o'donnell to the broadcast. she has more on all of this and the poll. norah? >> reporter: good evening, bob. tonight we're learning new details about that private meeting that president obama held with the two top house republicans here at the white house on sunday morning. sources tell cbs news that the republicans were actually meeting with the president's chief of staff when president obama dropped in unannounced and invited the republicans to the oval office for ten minutes. now, while no one's talking about the substance of that meeting, today president obama said "we're making progress."
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in the rose garden today, president obama said he's still pushing hard to reach the biggest deal possible with republicans. >> we can't let politics stand in the way of doing the right thing in washington. >> reporter: but with two weeks left before the august 2 deadline, a new cbs news poll shows americans are increasingly angry at government leaders and politics as usual. specifically on the budget standoff. 49% blame republicans for inaction. 29% think the president is responsible. any final deal, americans think, will have to involve compromise. 69% think president obama needs to compromise while 85% say republicans should make concessions only 11% say republicans should stick to their positions. but house speaker john boehner said last week republicans won't budge when it comes to taxes. >> our stand on the debt limit has been clear. there can be no tax hikes because tax hikes destroy jobs.
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>> reporter: still, most americans-- including republicans-- seem to disagree. 66% of americans believe any final deal should include a combination of both spending cuts and tax increases. this includes 55% of republicans and 53% of tea party supporters. up until now, the white house has said they had to get a deal done by this friday to give congress time to enact legislation. but today the president's spokesman says that is not a hard-and-fast deadline which, bob, means this thing will drag closer to that august 2 deadline. >> schieffer: okay, norah. we'll expect to hear a lot more from you about this. we want to go to the other end of pennsylvania avenue. nancy cordes is at the capitol. nancy, the president says he's optimistic. are you finding any optimists running around up there? >> reporter: not a one, bob. in fact, it's a sign of how little confidence there is up here that congressional leaders are plowing ahead with backup plans that face their own steep hurdles.
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the top democrat in the senate and the top republican are finalizing a plan they call a last resort, giving the president the power to raise the debt ceiling incrementally so long as he proposes spending cuts to offset that new debt. >> we need to stay in every day until we resolve this crisis confronting our country. >> reporter: their bill would also establish a bipartisan commission of law makers to propose more spending cuts and entitlement reforms for congress to vote on by the end of the year. but the senate plan infuriate yates conservative house members like bill flores of texas who wanted major cuts up front. >> the mcconnell plan doesn't work. i wasn't elected to do nothing, to kick the can down the road. >> the house will be in order. >> reporter: so house republicans are holding their own vote tomorrow on an austere plan they call cut, cap, and balance. it would cut government spending
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down to $2004 level >> we can no longer borrow 40 cents out of every dollar in this country. that's why we must pass cut, cap, and balance. >> reporter: but democrats are opposed. they say the bill prevents spending on the unexpected like wars, natural disasters or economic downturn. >> it's more like duck, dodge, and dismantle. >> reporter: the white house today threatened to veto it. >> it would essentially require the dismantlement of other social safety net, social security, medicare and medicaid. >> reporter: many house republicans say right now they won't vote to raise the debt limit unless it's tied to a balanced budget amendment a proposal that had been put forth by some of the most conservative members of the party but which is now taking center stage because of a lack of alternatives, bob. >> schieffer: thank you very much, nancy. nancy cordes at the capitol. you can write the headline for the nation's weather in the mid- section today in one word: hot. the mercury climbed to 90
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degrees or higher in 40 states and the humidity made it feel even worse. more than a thousand high temperature records have been broken across the united states this month. maya rodriguez is in east texas where there is still no relief in sight. >> normally this time of year the peach would be ripe and it would be that big. >> reporter: at ham orchards in carroll, texas, the signs of drought on this peach farm are obvious. >> they're beginning to stress, these young trees are, with these yellow leaves, inside the tree. >> reporter: dale ham has been a peach farmer for 32 years. has the drought cost you any none? >> yes. a lot. we're having to water 24 hours a day and it's costing us money in fuel, in electricity. >> reporter: he's not alone. severe drought conditions are spread across 14 states. in texas, the period from february to june was the driest since 1917. it may take a hurricane to make things right.
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until then, ranchers like jim mccord are left high and dry. >> we're in survival mode. we're just trying to survive and do the best we can until conditions get better. >> reporter: but even then relief could be temporary. climate models show another la nina could be forming. the weather phenomenon in the pacific ocean keeps the south drier than normal. that means drought conditions could be on tap again next year. back at ham orchards... >> once they break the skin, well, it's open season for anything that wants to eat on it. >> reporter: ...there's a new concern: grasshoppers that normally eat healthy grass in nearby pastures are now starting to eat his peaches. >> between the bugs and not having enough water and the heat and the grasshoppers and everything else, we're just fighting a losing battle. >> reporter: and, bob, scorching heat is also making the drought worse. temperatures here have hit 100 degrees every day since july 2, evaporating whatever moisture is in the soil.
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>> schieffer: okay, well, thank you very much, maya. a texas man is due to be executed on wednesday, but there's an unusual plea for clemency in the case. 12 million voices joined to sing happy birthday to nelson mandela and the future of manned space flight could be sitting in this garage when the "cbs evening news" continues.
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>> schieffer: on wednesday, texas plans to execute mark stroman. he killed two people and wounded another over the rage in the 9/11 attacks in 2001. but one man is now trying to stop the execution and it's the last person you'd expect. here's don teague with that story. >> reporter: a surveillance video captured the shooting rampage in the days following the september 11 terror attacks. mark stroman, a white supremacist, wanted revenge, so he went to three dallas-area convenience stores and shot three clerks who he thought were muslims. >> i did it out of love, rage and stupidity. >> reporter: two of his victims died. stroman was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. >> my split second of hate and anger of 9/11 has caused many
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people lifetimes of pain, and i regret that to this day. >> reporter: stroman will be executed by lethal injection on wednesday unless rais bhuiyan has his way. >> please show mercy. please. spare of life of mark stroman. >> reporter: he's campaigning to commute stroman's sentence to life without parole. >> i'm praying god to spare his life, to give him a chance. we all make mistakes as a human being. >> reporter: what sets this death penalty opponent apart is that bhuiyan is the sole survivor of stroman's killing spree. >> i didn't know if i was still alive. i looked down at the floor and saw blood pouring like an open faucet. sa reporter: gunshot wounds left him blind in his right eye. three dozen shotgun pellets are still embedded in his face. but bhuiyan says his muslim faith teaches forgiveness. >> we have to break the cycle of this hate and violence. >> for this man to step up with his faith and to show absolute forgiveness is remarkable. >> reporter: remarkable and unprecedented-- the first time
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in texas that a victim of a convicted murderer has asked for clemency. but so far, all pleas have been denied and stroman has lost every legal appeal. mark stroman doesn't expect the pleas for clemency to spare his life but says when he is executed here in texas, he'll die a changed man. >> i've come from a person with hate embedded into him into a person with a lot of love and understanding for all races. >> reporter: what does forgiveness bring? >> peace, passion, and healing into the society in our country. >> reporter: bhuiyan is now suing the state of texas claiming his rights as a victim were ignored, a last-ditch legal maneuver to stop the execution of the man who tried to kill him. don teague, cbs news, dallas. >> schieffer: south africa celebrated as nelson mandela turned 93 today. mandela spent the day with his family. he was in prison for 27 years
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for leading the fight against apartheid, but later became his country's first black president. around south africa today, millions of school children sang happy birthday to him. an alarming number of children in this country are going hungry. what some families are doing to make sure kids get enough to eat is our next story. story. i have copd. if you have it, you know how hard it can be to breathe and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms... keeping my airways open... ...a full 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. and it's steroid-free. spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops.
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[ major nutrition ] new ensure high protein. >> schieffer: it is hard to
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believe, but a government report out tonight says more than 17 million american children don't know where their next meal is coming from. many count on school food programs. but what happens now that school is out? here's dean reynolds. >> we're on a roll! >> reporter: at the second harvest food banks in new orleans, lunch and breakfast are always on the menu. >> we need 175 oranges. >> reporter: without them, kids who get subsidized breakfast and lunch during the school year are at risk for going hungry over the summer. kids like kaila kelly. >> spinach and broccoli are kind of like my favorite vegetables. >> reporter: kaila and her mother kelie, who's looking for work, say food banks are vital for people falling through the cracks, most of us who never notice. >> people aren't really concerned or interested if they're doing okay. >> reporter: marcia peterson is executive director of the desire street ministries day camps which served by second harvest. developing children, she says, are in great need of good nutrition and many of them are
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not getting it. >> we serve about 175 kids, but across the street in the public housing there's 635 school-aged children. so we're barely reaching a third of the kids. >> reporter: in new orleans, more than 32,000 children are eligible for subsidized school lunches, but once the school year is over, only 13% of those kids are involved in summertime food programs. many people who need assistance simply don't know about summer programs, while for those who do, dependency is a difficult admission to make to themselves and their kids. >> you want to have soup tonight? maybe a grilled cheese? >> reporter: for lisa and her nine-year-old daughter lola, dinner time includes difficult choices. lisa, a single mother, lost her job as a makeup artist three years ago after she became seriously ill. she sends lola to this day camp because a free breakfast and lunch monday through friday come with it. >> she gets to eat here and it's
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great food and sometimes there's not much of a choice at home. >> reporter: their food budget is $200 a month. >> i never thought that i would be in this position, unemployed, struggling, trying to make ends meet. but that quick it can absolutely happen. >> reporter: the hardship is apparent to lola. what do you think the future's going to be? >> i hope it's better than what we have right now. >> reporter: her mother says lola is learning a good lesson the hard way. economics from the bottom up. >> eggs... >> we're going to get ready for lunch here. >> when this camp ends, the meals end, too, and it will be five long weeks before school resumes. dean reynolds, cbs news, new orleans. >> schieffer: investors worried about debt problems in europe and the united states push the price of gold up more than $12 an ounce today. it settled above $1600 for the first time ever.
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it's going to stay there until a new vehicle that's still being designed takes astronauts up to get it. here's mark strassmann now with the fierce competition to build that next spaceship. >> reporter: beneath boulder, colorado's blue skies what's happening inside a makeshift garage could relaunch america's manned space program. >> we're just now beginning with this. >> reporter: this is "dream chaser." >> we need someone to take crews to low-earth orbit. >> reporter: jim voss heads the space exploration team at sierra nevada corporation, one of four privately owned companies in a nasa-supervised competition to build a successor to the space shuttle. >> it's very much like the shuttle but much, much, much smaller. >> reporter: "dream chaser" would be 1/40th the shuttle size, a sort of space taxi designed to carry up to seven astronauts, dock with a space station and then return to earth. nasa's helping to fund the companies. sierra nevada got $100 million in seed money.
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voss, a former nasa astronaut, went on five space missions. >> do you feel any sensation of motion there? >> i did. >> reporter: now he's helping sierra nevada develop a reusable winged spaceship he says will do a better job of returning people and science experiments to earth. >> after six months on the space station, landing gently is much better than landing hard in the capsule and for science return, if we return them to the earth and it's not a gentle landing, we could destroy the science return and it's of no use. >> reporter: but "dream chaser's" competitors took a very different approach. they're all 1960s style crew capsules. boeing, space-x, and blue origin are also getting development money from nasa. >> we do things a lot quicker. >> reporter: stokes mcmillian also left nasa's shuttle program to work on "dream chaser." he says compared to nasa, the private space business moves at the speed of light. >> one good thing about commercial companies doing this, we can change on a dime. >> reporter: but some critics
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worry private firms could put profits ahead of safety, and compromise on things like rigorous testing of all systems. >> there will be some unknown risk. >> reporter: space flight veteran peggy whitson run's nasa astronaut office. >> no matter how safe the commercial providers are, they're not going to have the flight test history. >> i lost 14 friends on the "columbia" and "challenger" accidents, i know what can happen when a space flight goes wrong. we care about it just like the nasa people do. >> and liftoff! >> reporter: next spring, nasa expects to pick two finalists and some time in 2015 launch astronauts on the first commercial flight to the space station. mark strassmann, cbs news, boulder, colorado. >> schieffer: and that is the news. i'm bob schieffer, cbs news, new york. i'll be here while scott is away and it's nice to be back. thank you, we'll see you tomorrow. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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bu in the day time." your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. women don't tend to be the ones that go around doing burglaries in the daytime. >> two young women busted in an east bay crime spree. who they had with them that really surprised police. a foot chase and a shootout with police. new details about the suspect's criminal past and we'll hear how cops say they can prove who fired first. prices are low, but some house hunters are losing out on great deals. the surprising thing more and more buyers are showing up with. good evening, i'm dana king. >> and i'm allen martin. police call it a bold crime spree in the middle of the day. two women in the east bay are now under arrest. as len shows us, what they did isn't unusual but it's who they brought


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